Have I been a Knicks fan for the past 21 years? Yes. Did I enjoy seeing Linsanity this past season? Yes. Do I think Jeremy Lin is a good basketball player? Yes. Do I think the Knicks made the wrong decision by letting him go to the Rockets? Absolutely not!
Tuesday the New York Times reported that the New York Knicks declined to match the Houston Rockets offer-sheet to Jeremy Lin. The offer-sheet was for three years $25 million, which included a guarantee salary of $14.8 million in the third year. That third year was a “poison pill” for the Knicks. If the Knicks decided to match, they'd have to pay a hefty luxury tax in 2014-15 -- approximately $30 million.
Now that Lin is going to Houston, what does this all mean for the Knicks?
The Knicks now look to a new point guard to lead them through the East. It is unclear who will be the starting point guard come this Fall. The battle is between Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton.
Jason Kidd was acquired July 11th to a 3 year $9.09 million dollar deal. Last year Kidd averaged 6.2 points and 5.5 assists with the Dallas Mavericks. When his contract expires, Kidd will be 42 years old.
Raymond Felton was acquired Monday in a sign and trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. Felton and forward/center Kurt Thomas both go back for their second stint with the Knicks in exchange for forward Jared Jeffries, center Dan Gadzuric, draft rights to Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou, a 2016 second round draft pick and cash considerations.
Felton who is only 28, averaged 11.4 points and 6.5 assists per game as the starting point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers. The Knicks hope that Felton’s second stint will be much like his first where he averaged close to a double double with 17 points per game and nine assists.
While both men are older than Lin, both take better care of the ball, and have veteran leadership that Lin does not quite possess in his young career. However, both point guards are considered past their primes and do not possess the scoring skills that Linsanity brought to the Knicks last year.
Personally, I think by seasons beginning we will see Felton the starting floor general for the Knicks, especially with Jason Kidd’s recent DUI.
As the Knicks and Jeremy Lin part ways, I wish Lin the best of luck in Houston. He was fun to watch here in New York, but Knicks fan breathe easy. I don’t think this is a decision we’ll all regret for the next three years.